Governor Noem and colleagues urge NCAA to change policies, protect fairness in women’s sports

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Monday, Governor Kristi Noem led eight of her fellow Republican governors in urging the NCAA to rewrite its Transgender Student Athlete Policy. Governor Noem and her colleagues communicated this in a letter to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. The full letter can be found here.

The NCAA’s Transgender Student Athlete Policy reads: “Transgender student-athlete participation for each sport [is] to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport.” The letter urges the NCAA to change this policy to protect fairness in women’s sports.

“The NCAA has the chance to guarantee an environment where female college athletes can thrive without the concern of inequities… But this policy allows the NCAA to avoid responsibility for ensuring the fairness of collegiate sports – therefore it must be changed,” wrote Governor Noem and her colleagues.

Governor Noem has been a leader in the country for fairness in girls’ and women’s sports. Last year, she signed the toughest bill in the nation to protect girls’ sports. She followed that action by leading a letter co-signed by 15 Republican governors urging the Biden Administration not to reinterpret Title IX. She also hosted a roundtable on protecting girls’ sports with Riley Gaines earlier this year.

“As governors of our states, it is our responsibility to care for our constituents, and we are doing all we can to protect the fairness of athletics in our states,” continued Governor Noem and the other governors. “Now, it is time for the NCAA to do the same and make the best decision for all of your athletes. We strongly encourage you to rewrite your Transgender Student Athlete Policy to protect, preserve, and encourage fairness in women’s athletics.”

Governor Noem was joined by the following Republican governors in sending this letter:

Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.